Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The river of life

The evocative images of such a metaphorical phrase are immediately understood by most.  As in challenges we all face throughout life, a river snakes across different and foreign terrain; in some seasons, a drought may dry up the vibrancy of the river, while in times of plenty, flooding and overabundance may occur.

There are periods of swift currents, and days of lazy haze; and underneath the calm exterior is an underworld of activity and blur of living, both of tumult as well as those timeless memories forever remembered, and it is precisely the paradigm upon which Heraclitus staked his perspective upon with the statement that “No man steps in the same river twice.”  For, indeed, the essence of the universe is one of ever-present change; it is the one constant in a life filled with unpredictable indifference, of inchoate beginnings that never lead to any fruition; of trials encountered without reason or rationale; and the river of life leads us through the mountaintops of emotional pinnacles and down into the depths of a valley so dark that despondency fails to reach the eternal chasm of sadness undefined.

Streams flowing into rivers; unexpected tributaries swallowing up the nameless and uncharted waters; and of snowcaps that melt and flow without fluidity of purpose, so life brings about such challenges, engagements and unexpected face-offs.  What are we to make of this river?  What to do in this life?  Must we always be defined by accomplishments, or can the value of a human being be sufficient by reason of a self-fulfillment of an ego’s search?  Is it truly the person who has amassed the greatest amount of “stuff” who is considered the “winner”, and does the river of life grant any greater significance, relevance or meaning to the quantifiable monetary value than to the man who dies penniless?

For the Federal employee and U.S. Postal worker who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition necessitates the Federal or Postal worker into preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, such questions embracing the river of life can be daunting, obsessively important, and awakening of a spark in the deeper recesses of one’s forgotten past to come to the fore.  Why?  Because medical conditions force a prioritization of values, meaning and relevance in one life; and, indeed, that is the foundational essence of every river of life – of what we believe; that we believe; and for which we believe.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Early Retirement for Disabled Federal Gov. Employees: Noted durations

Don’t you hate those “Apps” that reveal how much time you have taken to engage Activity-X or mindless-video-game-Y?

To engage in an aside for pure enjoyment’s sake is to get lost in the moment of leisure, to become engrossed and without a mind to time, problems of the world, circumstances of the present or the irrelevancy of one’s own station in life.  To read a book – perhaps of no great consequence, neither a “classic” nor a best seller of sorts; to push buttons in responding to a mindless video game; to have a silly electronic conversation with a spouse, a friend, a daughter or son aside from the seriousness of wisdom, guiding principles and life’s meaning couched in pointless meanderings without a compass of direction; and then we look down and realize that the cumulative duration expended has taken up a greater slice of our lives.

Now, that is irritating.  Yet, we cannot always and forever discipline ourselves to engage in the strict teleological essence of that which we are called to do or be.  Perhaps, in some former times when leisure was not yet an invented necessity, where finding basic necessities on a daily basis meant survival for that day or perishing in the pangs of growing hunger; or when our moments were occupied in service to a tyrant, a Lord or the King or Queen, whose very displeased nod could mean taking away one’s freedom and being banished into the dungeons of a rat-infested abyss where typhoid and other excrements of human dystopia ran rampaging through the horrors of a powerless populace; and of those times, people could with singular focus engage the toil of monotonous service without any mirth or joy but for a drunken state of euphoria here and there.

Do durations of time noted, in their aggregate, mean anything in the end?  If we have “wasted” such-and-such hours, or perhaps days and weeks that amount to a full year at the end of one’s life, does that mean that we have failed in our need to reach, to accomplish and complete the lifelong project of – what?  How many unmarked graves evidencing lives unrepentant for time wasted will be remembered for projects not completed?  We wait upon life, and life rewards by giving back silence.  We now have algorithms to show ourselves the extent of our wasted activities, and believe that we can improve ourselves by pointing out that which we stare at in wasting further time being anxious over noted durations that stand time still within the conscience of our own making.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who know the feeling of “waiting”, and have realized that noted durations mean that time has come to a standstill because of a chronic medical condition that simply will not go away, it may be time to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

Time does, indeed, stand still, and noted durations serve to reveal to us that time wasted is time never recovered, and remaining in a constant state of fear because the medical condition has “angered” or otherwise irritated members of that “team” you once served in your former and healthy capacity, will never get “better” by staying put.  Noted durations are for those who want to remain in a perpetual state of inactivity, and for the Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker who needs to move onward to the next stage of life, such noted durations only serve to hold us back from throwing off the shackles of conventional and normative lives that whisper not the brightness of tomorrow’s future.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal Disability Retirement Benefits: Edifying false gods

Are falsity and nonexistence equivalent concepts?  If you believe in something that cannot be proven, but nevertheless turns out to not exist but yet cannot be verified with certitude or confirmed validity, is it a “false” belief?  Conversely, if there is general recognition, acknowledgment and consensus of agreement that embracing a certain paradigm is an act of futility precisely because it is deemed to be “false”, but doing so provides a semblance and feeling of comfort and security, does such submission to falsity encompass any substantive differentiation from a mistaken but unsubstantiated belief?

The inane nature of believing in “false gods”, of course, has taken its own absurd turn of nonsensical meaninglessness.  We have now made of moral equivalence idol-worshiping of mundane objects, events and activities, such that the charge itself is so widespread as to no longer have any relative relationship with ‘sacrilege’ or sin of a mortal nature, leaving aside being merely a venial sin of inconsequential punishment of deeds or beliefs.  Whether edifying false gods or nonexistent ones, the point nowadays is to make sure that it isn’t something that will harm one’s self.

Throughout history, people have always harbored secret beliefs, whether of superstitious and nonsensically held ones that resulted in no or little harm (unless, of course, eccentricity and bizarre, somewhat out-of-the-ordinary behavior was engaged in under the watchful eyes of innocent children who ratted out on witchcraft and sorcery counter to the religious decorum of the town’s ruling class), and such discourse of irrationality and lack of methodological reasoning were acceptable so long as self-harm or interruption of another’s peace and tranquility were not engaged.

In modernity, edifying false gods has been accepted, if only because liberty, freedom and free will have all been conflated to confuse and deify the self, the ego and the echoes of rebelling against the traditionalism of past ages.  We love to tear things down, to defy the past and unravel the historicity of yesterday’s constraints.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have been too readily praying at the altar of “the mission of the agency” or the importance of the Postal work by volume and time, all at the expense of edifying the false gods of immortality, invincibility and loyalty to a function which has no end, the wages paid are often the deterioration of one’s health.

Preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is often the only way to step away from the altar of workplace madness, and the recognition of edifying false gods is often accomplished only by realizing that no gods, false, nonexistent or malevolent, are worth the price of one’s health.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Civil Service Disability Retirement Benefits: Human activity

The dizzying pace of it all defies comprehension.  We are, indeed, busy-bees, always engaged in this project, that protest, intervening in the affairs of others when our own are in such a state of disarray; up at it early in the morning and continuing until exhaustion sets in or wayward dementia in old age where even nursing homes impose human activity every night – bingo, dance, meditation, Tai Chi, family visitation day; not even a break for the aged.

Then, when we see those documentary films in foreign lands, of men taking hours to untangle the fishing net in preparation for the next day’s work; of sitting with family members in gathering for a meal; and of mountainous monasteries where gardening for supplemental food sources is an act of reflective repose, we wonder if the lives we live – so full of human activity supposedly for a purposeful end – is the only, the best, or the pinnacle of options left for us?

Did we ever choose the quantification of human activity we engage in?  Did we, at some point in our lives, sit down and say, Yes, I will accept to do that, agree to embrace this, and refuse all others?  Or, did the incremental, subtle and always insidious wave of requests, obligations and pressure to perform just overtake us, until one day we wake up in the middle of the night and recognize that our time is not our own, the human activity is without purpose or conscious constructiveness, and the projects we think are so dear to us, merely destroy and debilitate the human spirit?  That is the alienation talked about by Camus and the French Existentialists, is it not?

Human activity cannot be so senseless or purposeless; it must be to build, to advance, to secure for the future; and yet, as we lay in the quietude of nightly sweats, it becomes evident that we perform it for means otherwise intended.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to alienate one’s sense of mission and purpose from that of the priority that should be recognized – one’s health and the ability to have joy in life – the contradiction and conundrum is in “letting go” of that which has been a part of our lives for so long:  The job, the career path, the sense of “belonging” to a community of people who believe in the mission of the agency or the U.S. Postal Service.

Like barnacles clinging to the underside of a ship’s belly, we grapple and travel through life without quite knowing why, where we are going, or for what purpose we originally attached ourselves.

Preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS of CSRS Offset, is a way of:  A.  Recognizing the priority of health, B. Beginning the process of detaching ourselves as mere barnacles upon a ship’s underbelly, and C. Reflecting upon the course of one’s future.  Human activity is great and all – but it is the things we choose not to do that often define who we are in the hubbub of this mindless frenzy.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: Expectations beyond the norm

We begin the nascent origins of remembrances expecting greater things beyond the normal levels of reality; that is what we now define as a “good childhood” as opposed to a lesser, or even an ordinary one to bear and be burdened with.

We are admonished that we can “be anything”; that potentiality and possibility (is there even any conceptual clarity of distinction between the two, anymore, and what of the third in its trifecta – of probability?) are limitless; that, like child prodigies of yore, each of us are “special” (query:  if everyone is special, does the concept itself lose all meaning, as in the philosophical conundrum of nihilism, where if you believe in nothingness, where can there be a “something” to lend it any meaning at all?) and defined by the uniqueness of our own boundaries superimposed by society, artificial constructs and unattainable hopes and dreams.

With that baggage of certainty to failure, we begin to travel life’s inestimable travails and untried valleys of difficult terrain.  Yet, we call that a good childhood.  By contrast, we ascribe bad parenting to the cynic who treads upon the fragile soul of a child:  “Chances are, you’ll never amount to anything”; “You’re never going to be able to do that, so why try?” (said to a 16 year old who has stunted growth trying to dunk a ball); “Don’t waste your time; you don’t have the talent for it, anyway.”  These comprise, constitute and reflect emotional harm and verbal abuse, by the standards of today.

We are never supposed to discourage, but always to encourage; never to allow for the reality of an impervious universe to influence, but rather, to always create a fantasy of potentiality and possibility of hope and perspective of the impossible.  But what of encounters with strangers and angels disguised as visiting anonymity?  Do we say to the child, “You are special; all people are special; as special people all, welcome all”?  No, instead we preface warnings, admonish with goblins and ogres beneath every bed, and scare the hell out of kids – which, by the way, is also considered good parenting.  And thus do we become adults, weighed down by the baggage of heavy biases towards the realities of life.

Most of us realize, at some point, that being “special” merely means that we are ordinary human beings living quite monotonous lives, and that only celebrities, politicians and the once-in-a-lifetime Bob Dylan truly fit into that category of uniqueness.  Happiness is the expectation dashed, evaluated, then accepted; and that it’s all okay.  Then, when a medical condition hits, it makes it all the more so; for, as children, we also expected that our mortality was nothing more than something well into an obscure future, always touching others but never ourselves.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position, the reality of our own vulnerabilities and fragile nature begins to set in.  Expectations beyond the norm have to be compromised.  Dreams once hoped for and hopes once dreamed of require some modifications.  But that’s all okay; health is the venue for hope, and without it, there isn’t even a whiff of dreaming for tomorrow’s moment.

Prepare well the Federal Disability Retirement application.  It is okay to be ordinary, and to recognize the fragility of human life and health, for it is the latter that needs to be protected in order to dream of a future where a summer’s day dozing on a picnic blanket will fulfill all expectations beyond the norm.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: Character

If a person points to another and states, “He is really a character”, is it different from positing:  “He really has character”?  Can both statements mean the same, or is the subtle difference there to denote?  The former is customarily stated in defining a person as somewhat of an oddball, or perhaps eccentric to a degree that places him outside of the conventional norms of acceptable conduct.  The latter, on the other hand, could also mean that – the possession of it modified by the adverb describes one with a plenitude of extraordinary traits.  Or, it could connote the more classical meaning:  A worthy person of honor, dignity, courage, moral foundation, etc.

That is, in the end, what most of us consider to be the pinnacle and apex of that very noun, isn’t it?  Possessing it is that which makes of us; displaying it, what demands respect and attention; and abiding in it despite trials that test to compromise, what we hope and expect of ourselves.  Indeed, character is both tested and surfaces especially in those times of tumult and tribulation; it is the mettle challenged at the depth of the soul of being.  Yet, in this age of modernity where materialism prevails, power seems to overarch all else, and the traditional reference to one’s “character” no longer means much more than a rumble in one’s stomach as evidence of hunger or impoverishment, it is clear that neither form of the meaning evinces much curiosity.

Materialism is dominant; those in power dominate; and the once-vaunted “indomitable spirit” carried forth as a burden of possessing character no longer has much substantive weight.  Where it does reveal and manifest itself, however, is in the very lack thereof.  So long as things are going relatively smoothly; while the good fortune lasts; or, perhaps during those times when monotony merely puts one into a slumber of sorts, and actions and deliberations through life’s daily routine are placed on an unthinking mode of automatic pilot, the revelation or concealment of character matters not.

But take that onerous instance – as, when a medical condition begins to impact one’s life, and for Federal and Postal employees, compels one to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset; does character count?  One’s own and reliance upon another’s; both come to the fore and require an evaluation that will test the mettle of the substantive foundation.

For the Federal or Postal employee who begins to prepare an effective Federal Disability Retirement application – tested to endure the administrative process and the onerous test of the entire bureaucratic procedure.  For those coworkers, family members and other encountering Federal or Postal employees, including Supervisors, Managers and Human Resource Personnel – of how they respond and what they do to make the process smooth and seamless.  In the end, character comes to the fore, and reveals the content of who we truly are.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire